Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2021-10-28 16:54Z by Steven

Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir

Washington Independent Review of Books
2021-02-05

Alice Stephens

A transracial adoptee reveals her struggle to build a Black identity in a world of white privilege.

Rebecca Carroll, Surviving the White Gaze, A Memoir (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021)

In 1972, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) issued a position statement that took a “vehement stand against the placement of Black children in white homes for any reason.” The document eloquently and forcefully explains this stance as crucial to the child’s healthy formation of identity in a society intent on the erasure of Blackness.

Around that time, David and Laurette Carroll formally adopt Rebecca, whom they had been raising since infancy. Rebecca is the mixed-race child of Tess, a white high school student of David’s. Uninterested in Black life and culture, the Carrolls were likely unaware of NABSW’s stance. As Rebecca Carroll vividly reveals in her searing memoir, Surviving the White Gaze, her adoptive parents were woefully unprepared to raise a Black child, clueless to the challenges she faced as the only Black resident of their rural New Hampshire town.

Like many progressive people of that era who adopted outside of their race, the Carrolls, who already had two biological children of their own, “believed in Zero Population Growth, and so…didn’t want to bring another child into the world.”

They first thought of adopting a Native American child, no doubt influenced by the Indian Adoption Project, a federal program that was heralded as a beacon of enlightened adoption practices for placing brown babies with white families. But then, 16-year-old Tess offers the Carrolls the opportunity to adopt her baby, fathered by a Black man. As Tess is a friend of the family, the adoption is open…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“I See Me with Rebecca Carroll”

Posted in Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Women on 2021-04-22 23:08Z by Steven

“I See Me with Rebecca Carroll”

Black America
CUNY TV, New York, New York
2021-02-08

Carol Jenkins, Hosts

Rebecca Carroll talks with us about her latest book, “Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir” that walks us through her struggle with race and identity as she navigates life in a white world.

Black America is an in-depth conversation that explores what it means to be Black in America. The show profiles Black activists, academics, business leaders, sports figures, elected officials, artists and writers to gauge this experience in a time of both turbulence and breakthroughs.

Black America is hosted by Carol Jenkins, Emmy award winning New York City journalist, and founding president of The Women’s Media Center.

Tags: , , , ,

Rebecca Carroll: “Surviving the White Gaze” & Transracial Adoption | The Daily Social Distancing Show

Posted in Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Women on 2021-04-18 17:50Z by Steven

Rebecca Carroll: “Surviving the White Gaze” & Transracial Adoption | The Daily Social Distancing Show

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
2021-03-17

Rebecca Carroll discusses her new memoir that examines transracial adoption and forging her own Black identity.

Watch the video here.

Tags: , , , ,

They Were Black. Their Parents Were White. Growing Up Was Complicated.

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2021-03-06 22:48Z by Steven

They Were Black. Their Parents Were White. Growing Up Was Complicated.

The New York Times
Book Reviews
2021-02-23

Bliss Broyard


Georgina Lawton (Left), Rebecca Carroll (Right) Jamie Simonds/Loftus Media, Laura Fuchs

Georgina Lawton, Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong (New York: Harper Perennial, 2021)

Rebecca Carroll, Surviving the White Gaze, A Memoir (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021)

For most of us, racial identity is a combination of inheritance (you are what your parents are) and influence (you’re a product of where and how you were raised). But what if you are raised by people who didn’t look like you, in communities where you were the only one, steeped in a culture whose power was amassed through your oppression?

In a pair of new memoirs — “Surviving the White Gaze,” by the American cultural critic Rebecca Carroll, and “Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong,” by the British journalist Georgina Lawton — two women recount growing up as Black girls with white parents who loved them deeply but failed them miserably by not seeing and celebrating them for who they were…

Read the review of both books here.

Tags: , , , ,

Surviving the White Gaze, A Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2021-02-05 01:26Z by Steven

Surviving the White Gaze, A Memoir

Simon & Schuster
2021-02-02
320 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781982116255
eBook ISBN-13: 9781982116323
Audio Book ISBN-13: 9781797119380

Rebecca Carroll, Host, Managing Editor and Cultural Critic
WNYC Radio, New York, New York

A stirring and powerful memoir from black cultural critic Rebecca Carroll recounting her painful struggle to overcome a completely white childhood in order to forge her identity as a black woman in America.

Rebecca Carroll grew up the only black person in her rural New Hampshire town. Adopted at birth by artistic parents who believed in peace, love, and zero population growth, her early childhood was loving and idyllic—and yet she couldn’t articulate the deep sense of isolation she increasingly felt as she grew older.

Everything changed when she met her birth mother, a young white woman, who consistently undermined Carroll’s sense of her blackness and self-esteem. Carroll’s childhood became harrowing, and her memoir explores the tension between the aching desire for her birth mother’s acceptance, the loyalty she feels toward her adoptive parents, and the search for her racial identity. As an adult, Carroll forged a path from city to city, struggling along the way with difficult boyfriends, depression, eating disorders, and excessive drinking. Ultimately, through the support of her chosen black family, she was able to heal.

Intimate and illuminating, Surviving the White Gaze is a timely examination of racism and racial identity in America today, and an extraordinarily moving portrait of resilience.

Tags: , ,

Finding oneself in ‘Surviving the White Gaze’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2021-01-30 22:57Z by Steven

Finding oneself in ‘Surviving the White Gaze’

The Boston Globe
2021-01-28

Blaise Allysen Kearsley, Globe Correspondent


Judith Rudd for The Boston Globe

Surviving The White Gaze: A Memoir
By Rebecca Carroll
Simon & Schuster, 320 pp., $26

The core function of tween- and teen-hood is the lofty job of figuring out who we are, as if puberty isn’t harrowing enough. Human nature forces us to make sense of our childhood experiences, how we feel about the way others perceive us, and to chart the topography of our own voice.

But for Black and brown kids, there’s the added hurdle of the white gaze. Foundational to the centering and elevation of whiteness in America, the white gaze sees Blackness only within the context of comparison and alterity. It’s the shallow lens of privilege, ingrained bias, and misrepresentation that creates both violent acts and micro-aggressive behaviors. It’s the white police officer brutalizing Black citizens without cause or provocation, the white educator who instinctively adjusts their expectations for a Black student, and in Rebecca Carroll’s unflinching memoir “Surviving the White Gaze,” it’s the fifth grade teacher who tells her she’s “pretty for a Black girl,” and the heritage her family never talks about…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , ,

MGM/UA Television Acquires Rights To Rebecca Carroll Memoir ‘Surviving The White Gaze’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2020-11-20 02:41Z by Steven

MGM/UA Television Acquires Rights To Rebecca Carroll Memoir ‘Surviving The White Gaze’

Deadline
2020-11-17

Dino-Ray Ramos, Associate Editor/Reporter


Courtesy of MGM/UA

EXCLUSIVE: MGM/UA Television has acquired the rights to Rebecca Carroll’s upcoming memoir Surviving the White Gaze in a competitive situation ahead of its release. Simon & Schuster is set to publish the book on February 2, 2021.

Carroll is set to adapt her memoir as a limited series and serve as an executive producer on the project. The project was brought to MGM by Killer Films, and represents the first series to come out of the company’s first-look deal with the studio. Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler will also serve as executive producers.

“The opportunity to work with both Killer Films and MGM is an absolute dream collaboration, and to be able to adapt my own deeply personal journey under such fiercely creative leadership is incredibly thrilling,” said Carroll…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Meaning, Without the White Gaze

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2019-11-10 02:31Z by Steven

Meaning, Without the White Gaze

The Atlantic
2019-08-07

Rebecca Carroll, Host
WNYC Radio, New York, New York


Kate Martin / The Atlantic

I’m writing my memoir for the late, great Toni Morrison.

I had been writing it for her. For her, and for Pecola Breedlove. Perhaps too ambitious or presumptuous or high-minded, I had, until the announcement of her death this week, been writing my memoir, Surviving the White Gaze, for Toni Morrison and Pecola Breedlove. Because I survived the white gaze for Pecola, and Morrison taught me how.

I knew Pecola first. I lived inside her skin, her ache; felt sickened, ashamed, and unseen by that baby doll’s dead blue eyes on one of the book’s early covers. Page after page of The Bluest Eye, I felt Pecola’s mind curl into anguish and succumb to a delusion better than reality. Pecola lost her mind because she wanted the blue eyes set inside the ceaseless standard of white beauty—a gaze so narcotic that it ravaged her body from flesh to bone—and I almost did, too.

I say that I knew Pecola first because Morrison’s writing of her was so thorough and fully realized that in my initial reading of The Bluest Eye, the character loomed larger than the author. This is what will happen to me, I remember thinking. If I keep internalizing the white gaze and contorting my own reflection in response to it, I will spiral into madness and still be seen as ugly

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Still, over the years, and in my own experience, most light-skinned black and mixed folks I know would rather identify as black and proudly claim our heritage and legacy than pass for white, or even mention the whiteness part.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-05-12 17:46Z by Steven

Still, over the years, and in my own experience, most light-skinned black and mixed folks I know would rather identify as black and proudly claim our heritage and legacy than pass for white, or even mention the whiteness part. Because it’s the whiteness part that gave this country white sheets and pointy hoods, that put an unrecognizably maimed Emmett Till in an open coffin. It’s what made Margaret Garner slit her child’s throat rather than return her to slavery. Whiteness is what gave us Donald Trump, and all the free-wheeling privilege and arrogance of average white men the world over.

Rebecca Carroll, “What The Reaction To The Royal Baby Says About Racial Identity And Racism,” Gothamist, March 10, 2019. http://gothamist.com/2019/05/10/royal_baby_race_obsession.php.

Tags: ,

What The Reaction To The Royal Baby Says About Racial Identity And Racism

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-05-11 15:10Z by Steven

What The Reaction To The Royal Baby Says About Racial Identity And Racism

Gothamist
WYNC
New York, New York
2019-05-10

Rebecca Carroll, Editor of Special Projects

2019_05_babysussex.jpg
Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in Berkshire (Shutterstock)

In the five days since Meghan Markle, the black and biracial American who married into the British monarchy, gave birth to her son Archie Harrison Mountbattan-Windsor, at least two media outlets have posted blatantly racist commentary targeting the royal baby’s racial identity. On Tuesday, CNN published an article by John Blake with the headline, “How Black Will the Baby Be?

The story unleashed a torrent of backlash on social media…

…Don’t get me wrong. The myth of mixed-race and racially ambiguous children as representative of hope and harmony is real. Mixed-race people are notoriously fetishized, and colorism is rampant in mainstream media and Hollywood and, well, across many industries. Dark-skinned black folks are without question discriminated against in far greater numbers than lighter-skinned and mixed-race black folks…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,